I told you earlier this week about working a wedding at The Reserve at Oak Bowery and today I thought I would share The Reserve with you. Who knows...you may want to drive to Oak Bowery, AL someday and stay here....or get married here....or just see it. It is an awesome place. When you walk onto the lands it is just like being transported back into the days of Katie Scarlett O'Hara. The picture above is the front of the house taken right before the wedding. I thought it was so lovely.
The bride and party go down the outdoor aisle to the altar/fireplace. This wedding was at 6:30 p.m. and in the firepit where you would find a roaring fire...there were some beautiful plants and white Christmas lights. It was magical. At the base of every tree in this pecan orchard...there were colored lights shining upward.
This is were the reception was held. It is called the Party Barn. It is lovely on the inside and to the left of the open door above was a tent where the dancing took place. It was a fabulous night.
I was really curious about this place by the time I got home so I did some research on it and thought I would tell you a little history about it...in case for real you want to come and use it.
"This home has a very rich history in Chambers County. Known as the McCurdy Plantation, it once was central to a thriving cotton farm of 4000 acres, 150 slaves, and a large lot of stock all owned by Joseph McCurdy. From this plantation is also a breed of horse that the McCurdys bred to be useful on the farm. The grounds still include a now enclosed cattle barn, and large and small working barns. The site where the blacksmith’s shop used to be (just to the North of the small working barn) is evident by the constantly emerging samples of iron.During the Civil War in 1864, Federal Cavalry stopped by to water their horses. The troops were led from Selma by Col. Oscar LaGrange, regimental commander, and were headed to West Point, where another battle ensued over the railroad yards. There is a natural pure water spring just behind the current property line that has historically served as a fresh water supply for travelers and visitors with the thriving railway and agricultural industry in the area.The home was built in 1845 by Mr. Edmund S. Harris as a wedding present to his daughter and her husband, Joseph McCurdy." (Nice wedding gift huh? My parents gave us a crock pot.) The construction took 3 years, and was all completed by hand, by the slaves on the plantation. The house is made entirely of heart pine (from the center of the tree trunk) in the Greek Revival style and has slightly tapering fluted columns, and a cantilevered porch on the front. The house was positioned on a slight knoll and took advantage of the breeze through the open “dog trot” hallway in the center of the house. Several elder guests have talked about staying in this house as a child with the McCurdy children, sleeping on a large pallet on the floor in front of one of the fireplaces. The back portion of the house was added in the late 1980s by the Pattons- adding a modern kitchen and 3 and a half more bathrooms. Logan Patton did the work using parts from the former Parsonage to the United Methodist Church in Opelika that was torn down to make a parking lot.The front dining room used to be the master’s bedroom. It has a stairwell so that the parents could keep close at hand to their 8 sleeping children upstairs in the two rooms joined by a door. The next room used to be the dining room, with the kitchen through a door (now a window) in a separate building outside (for fire safety.) There are only three small closets in the house – one over and two under the staircases. These, of course, were taxed as rooms, so are scarce. The stairs on the back side of the house used to go directly upstairs from the outside, for field hands doing business in the office of Mr. McCurdy. They allow any vendor with no extra fees charged, so you have complete control over your event. Small or large, day or evening, they have the variety of spaces you need to accommodate your guests. Some of the events they have hosted are:
- Rehearsal Dinners
- Birthday Parties
- Bridal Showers
- Alumni Gatherings
- Church Retreats
- Corporate Events
Small meetings or mixers can take place in the Plantation House, while larger ones can use the Party Barn or our outdoor area. Walk through the “back 40” or down to the pond and take in the fresh air! The Reserve at Oak Bowery is an elegant and picturesque location for your next event. The Plantation House is filled with period antiques, and is a beautiful setting for more formal events, small and large from 7 to 75 people. There are three large social rooms downstairs, plus a large main hall, ½ bath, bedroom with bath, and kitchen. The upstairs, with its four bedrooms and 3 baths, provides gracious guest accommodations. On the downstairs level, the screened back porch overlooking the back yard is the perfect place to sit and swing and watch the celebrations going on in the back yard. For Weddings, the downstairs is available for food service. The Bride’s Room is upstairs and is adjoined to an enclosed porch which provides a bird’s eye view of the ceremony area below. The Party Barn is a 1600 sq. ft. structure that is heated and air conditioned and seats approximately 100 people comfortably, and large windows on one side provide the perfect view to outdoor seating. It is a great place for rehearsal dinners and any casual party! Food service is also available in this area. The “Party Barn” was originally used with the cotton production on the plantation. The structure was formerly an antique shop, and has been recently remodeled with separate Men’s and Women’s restrooms added for event use. (wheelchair accessible) The Plantation House is available for rent for overnight accommodations. There are 5 named bedrooms, 4 full baths, and 1 half bath. Both downstairs and upstairs have a large central hallway and porch for lounging around - a must in such a gracious home! Downstairs has a Parlor with piano, a Dining Room with table for 12, a multi-purpose room, laundry room, and a full kitchen overlooking back yard." I am telling you...this place has it all. I am so glad I got to see it. I don't know if I would have ever believed it. In October I am working another wedding there so I will get to see this grand ladies splender in the fall. I can't wait.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.